102-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor makes the long trek to Hawaii to remember fallen friends
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pearl Harbor attack survivor Ira “Ike” Schab got a hero’s welcome at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Friday.
The Portland resident returned to Honolulu for the 81st anniversary commemoration of the attack.
The Pacific Fleet band and honor guard greeted Schab as he got off a Hawaiian Airlines flight, which received a ceremonial water salute.
Schab was 21 when Pearl Harbor was attacked — a musician in the U.S. Navy, assigned to the USS Dobbin.
Today, he’s 102 years old.
“I’m not worthy. Who’s worth all this?” Schab said, holding back tears as he remembered his friends and many others who lost their lives that day.
“Those are the ones I want to salute,” he said.
It’s a little harder to fly back these days. He almost didn’t make it this year after several health issues, including fear of pneumonia.
But Schab said he’ll keep coming back for those who can’t be here.
“I wouldn’t have missed it,” he said. “You could have gotten me here in a hospital bed.”
Schab’s son, Karl, is also retired from the Navy and spent four years in Hawaii, sharing a special bond to the islands like his father.
“It’s overwhelming and it really, really made me tear up,” he said.
Also arriving in Honolulu: Two California women who were among the six million who joined the workforce during World War II as part of the “Rosie the Riveters” movement.
“It’s so unreal,” said Marian Wynn, who was 18 and worked as a pipe welder during WWII.
“We’re not heroes, we just wanted to do our job and get the guys home,” said Marian Sousa, who was part of an engineering team.
The Pearl Harbor Commemoration will be on Dec. 7, starting at 7 a.m.
The Remembrance Parade starts at 6 p.m. in Waikiki.
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